What’s wrong with the 1619 Project is that it is factually preposterous. The essence of the story is that Americans fought the American Revolution because Lord Dunmore said that slaves fighting on the British side would be emancipated. Well, he said that in November 1775 – after Lexington and Concord, after the Boston Tea Party, after the Boston Massacre, after the Stamp Act. The war was up and running, and this is after George Washington had been put in charge of the troops.
So it is factually illiterate to say this. And that is why, to use your term, it’s not a good-faith kind of argument. It’s tendentious, meretricious, and propagandistic.
DBx: Legitimate litmus tests for revealing oneself to be without-question incompetent to pronounce on a particular issue are rare. But the set of such tests isn’t empty. For example, if Sam announces that protective tariffs increase real wages for most ordinary workers in the domestic economy, Sam reveals himself to be incompetent to pronounce on the economics of international trade. If Sarah proclaims that the rises in prices for goods such as propane and plywood following a devastating storm are caused by greed, she thereby reveals herself to be incompetent to pronounce on the workings of markets. A third example: If Steve waxes eloquently about the economic and environmental benefits of locovorism, you can be certain that Steve is incompetent to pronounce on anything economic and environmental. He is – like Sam and Sarah – a ‘thinker’ as shallow as they come.
No less revealing of his or her incompetence – here, the incompetence to pronounce on the history of the American revolution – is anyone who insists, or who defends those who insist, that the American revolution, sparked by Lord Dunmore’s announced emancipation of certain slaves, was a struggle to protect the institution of slavery in the thirteen colonies from imminent British abolition.
Pictured above is Lord Dunmore. Under his governorship of the Bahamas from 1787 to 1796, slavery continued.